Trigger Warning: The following article contains depictions of rape and sexual assault.
As Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, prepare to testify in a Senate hearing on September 27th, more allegations against Kavanaugh have emerged. Deborah Ramirez came forward to state that Kavanaugh had assaulted her at a college party while they were both freshman at Yale, and now, a third accuser—identified as Julie Swetnick—claims that Kavanaugh organized gang rapes while they were in high school.
On September 23rd, the same night that The New Yorker reported on Ramirez’s allegations against Kavanaugh, attorney Michael Avenatti tweeted that he was representing another victim of Kavanaugh’s. At the time, he shared emails he had sent to Mike Davis, Chief Counsel for nominations for the Senate Judiciary Committee. In his correspondence with Davis, Avenatti wrote that he had evidence that Kavanaugh and his friends aided in gang rapes during high school parties.
Today, September 26th, Avenatti tweeted further details about these allegations and identified Swetnick as his client. He shared a “sworn declaration” from Swetnick, in which she recalled attending “well over 10 house parties” with Kavanaugh from 1981 to 1983. She wrote that she had heard of Kavanaugh and his friends spiking the punch at these gatherings “to cause girls to lose their inhibitions and their ability to say ‘No.'”
Once a targeted girl was inebriated, Swetnick wrote that they were “‘gang raped’ in a side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys.” She claimed that, in about 1982, she was the victim of one of these rapes and suspected she had been drugged with Quaaludes or a similar sedative—and she asserts that Kavanaugh was complicit in the event.
Kavanaugh has emphatically denied all accusations of sexual assault. In a Fox News interview on September 24th, he dismissed the gang rape accusations, saying that he was a virgin through high school and “for many years thereafter.” In her declaration, Swetnick argued otherwise.
Swetnick also recounted other instances of Kavanaugh’s inappropriate behavior, which included groping, verbal abuse, and trying to remove girls’ clothing.
The New York Times notes that Avenatti has not made Swetnick available for press interviews. The Times also acknowledged that it could not corroborate Swetnick’s claims. President Donald Trump was quick to respond to Swetnick’s statement with an attack on Avenatti. As CNBC has reported, Avenatti is currently suing Trump on behalf of his client Stormy Daniels.
On September 27th, a fourth woman—who wishes to remain anonymous—came forward. In a letter to Republican Colorado senator Cory Gardner, the woman stated that she witnessed an inebriated Kavanaugh shove her friend against a wall in an aggressive and sexual manner in 1998. The woman claims there were at least four witnesses to the incident.
These latest allegations against Kavanaugh have the potential to alter the outcome of his Supreme Court appointment. We hope that Swetnick, Ramirez, and Ford’s accusations receive a thorough and formal investigation—they, as well as victims everywhere, deserve nothing less.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.